Welcome to Starlight Inception, a first-person / third-person space combat experience coming to PS Vita in December. It contains a single-player campaign, single-player Fly Patrol (tower defense), and several multiplayer options. The inspiration for Starlight Inception was the old space sim games that we loved as kids, but with a more sophisticated, modern sensibility.
We don’t intend the fighters in Starlight Inception to be retextures of World War II fighters, but something more modern and space capable. And unlike those older games, Starlight Inception was designed to allow flight from space down to planetary/lunar environments with seamless transitions.
In Starlight Inception, you’re a young space fighter pilot assigned to the U.S.F. Midway (SCVN-41) one hundred years from tomorrow. In the first mission (included in the beta going live today) you’ll learn about your ship, the controls, and face your first enemies. This mission is the only one included in this early Beta, but it should give a taste for what this game looks like and feels like. The intention was to really integrate the training into the overall story — stuff hits the fan while you’re learning how to fly your ship, and gets the story rolling.
The finished game (planned for December) will have more than 30 hours of single-player gameplay, and you’ll be able to explore your mothership between missions — see your bunk area, report to the captain on the bridge, and visit the Pilot Ready Room where you receive your mission briefings.
The finished game will also have a hangar bay with more than thirty different fighters, bombers, and transports, each with customizable weapons and equipment to choose from for the missions. The fighters are future versions of modern day fighters like the Lightning, Raptor, and others, and they’re made to work in both space and planetary environments.
There’s a deep story in Starlight Inception that plays out through the single-player campaign missions. It revolves around World War IV. You’re facing several factions of a larger organization which doesn’t agree with a United Earth — they want a national, not a world government.
We took a lot of pains to make both the United Star Force (your organization) and the Non-Aligned Nations (the enemy) realistic and believable. We didn’t want a black and white depiction of the enemies or the friendlies, and wanted to avoid the stereotypes that are usually present in these games. We wanted to depict our characters as if they were part of a very real and functioning military in a future situation.
There are ten single-player missions, each with unique tasks and objectives. In one mission, Operation: Render Hope, you’ll escort transports to the surface of Earth and into the city of Chicago so they can render medical aid to civilians. This is an escort mission that will involve repelling enemy fighters while tagging the civilian areas. Render Hope definitely has a Choplifter vibe.
In Starlight Inception, a fully integrated, second campaign has been implemented in the form of a 3D tower defense game, called Fly Patrol. You face waves of enemy fighters and capital ships advancing through Einstein-Rosen bridges (or E/R bridges), which are artificial wormholes. You can hold them off with just your chosen fighter, and/or deploy turrets for defense.
What we wanted to do with this mode was to have a unique tower defense game that used the Starlight Inception ‘verse, while giving you something else to do besides completing missions. The tower defense mode is a great casual experience, and the different missions can be jumped into quickly.
There are several multiplayer modes available in the full version of Starlight Inception as well. You can select from deathmatch, capture the ball, and football mode. Each has unique challenges and have been lots of fun for the playtesters so far.
There are a lot of Vita specific features in the game — we make use of the accelerometer, the gyroscope, the front touch pad, and the sticks. Starlight Inception feels great on Vita.
The music of Starlight Inception has been composed by three time Grammy nominated American composer David Arkenstone. David had previously contributed music to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and is amazingly talented. It’s been a true pleasure to work directly with David to match his musical style to the battles (and quiet stretches) that occur within Starlight Inception. David’s music has definitely captured the excitement and danger of the missions.
We wanted to offer a genuine space combat experience with Starlight Inception. In order to do that, we worked with military advisors who reviewed the script and character dialogue. We’ve also entered into a licensing agreement with Lockheed Martin for the use of fighter names and the Lockheed name. This is the first time Lockheed Martin has ever endorsed a product that portrays future products with the Lockheed name, and were both honored and excited to be able to do this. We feel it really adds to the realism of our game.
Finally, we wanted to say thank you to all of our supporters who believed in our game before it was a game. First and foremost, we’re working to make good on our promises to you folks and hope we’re delivering a product that is light years beyond what you expected and hoped for. And we’re always happy to answer your questions.
Light up the sky…
Garry, Melissa and the Starlight inception Team
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Digital Download only is planned. We would consider physical if there were enough interest.
I do agree with all the feedback given above and I’m glad to hear it will be addressed. I have a little more to add:
1. The right stick could also be used control pitch, helps when changing targets and you still want to keep chasing the enemy.
2. For switching between enemy targets, there should also be a button assigned for “previous enemy”
3. The touch screen could be utilized more, e.g. Clicking a target could be a shortcut to order to allies to attack a particular target.
4. Hope you can/already have improve the radar, couldn’t understand it on this beta version.
5. The auto targeting (double triangle) seems to be making the game too easy, people might lose interest if a game doesn’t challenge then. It should be nerfed or removed. We have guided missiles for people who can’t aim.
6. Will we have powerful unguided dumbfire missiles to play with?
7. When selecting “camera look” mode to look around your ship with the right stick, the movement would be nicer if it was smoother and more analogue (like looking a little to your side instead of a complete 90 degree view)
1. My guess is that this would compete with the pitch controls on the left stick, but might work as some kind of fine adjustment.
2. I wish we had about ten more buttons somewhere on the Vita, but we are using all of them already.
3. I like this idea – may be problematic in big battles, but we can look into it.
4. Radar is still a work in progress – not even totally sold on the idea that you need it for this game
5. This is such a fine balance, and why it is optional…
6. Yes – there are missiles that do a large area effect, like the Sunflare EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse), and the MIRV-type missiles, which can hit multiple targets
7. Good suggestion – we can look into this.
9. Hard. We tried using it for quick flick AI controls (flick right to left to attack, flick left to right to defend, etc.). Testers were accidentally hitting it freqently, and sometimes it wouldn’t recognize the commands…for now, we’ve abandoned it, but we might revisit.
Thanks for the great feedback!
8. Really like the concept of power management, gives more depth to the game.
9. How hard would it be to add the rear touch pad as a fine tune aim alongside analogue sticks. (Now I’m just throwing crazy ideas)
This game really is bringing back long forgotten memories. I’m glad you and the team are filling a void many developers have ignored. Thanks also for being really involved with the community. Can’t wait to play the final product.
(Responded in above post)
I just played the Beta, and it’s amazing. I can’t believe how amazing the controls are. And the environment is very impresive. The graphics are a little bit disappointing, but it’s okay if that means that the game will have a better performance.
I’ve got a good feeling about this game.
The game is good the way you are doing it, but if you guys ever plan to make another one, I wish you could add some EVE elements like building your own corporation, mining planets and/or asteroids, and creating your own fleets. (Take an example of MGS: Peace Walker where you can create your own Mother Base). Also, for the multiplayer you can make the players choose a faction or an alliance. If they win or lose in multiplayer matches, that will affect to their corporation’s resources (Like the multiplayer of The Last of Us). Also, you can organize Live Events (like EVE)where the result affects the entire faction.
Well, I hope you don’t get mad by these suggestions. It’s just that I’m so amazed with your game, that my imagination is flowing like never before!
Thank you for the kind words, and the suggestions. For now, we are working on finishing the game for release by polishing and fixing what we have, but there are always possibilities for new features as we move forward.
Hey I only had time to read this post just now…and I gotta say this game looks great…30 hours of SP?….you had me there already…for real I admire devs like you guys…I can kinda feel your passion for the game…..and its a real shame that there isn’t enough interest on this game…I would really like to buy it physical….but whatever…consider me a buyer.I’ll try the beta as soon as I can….and I’ll be supporting you guys…PS3 and VIta FTW.Thank you.
Thank you for the kind words.
(Hit the return key too fast) – one other thing, I may have been unclear on the physical thing. The ball is really in our court on this one – but physical on the Vita is a very large financial committment, and not one we would take lightly (I’d rather dump the money into making the game cooler). It’s not for lack of interest so much as the lack of willingness to spend the money on manufacturing instead of game goodness… :)
@ Garry M.Gaber
Hey Garry ha that was funny…okay 1st of all I would like to thank you for the reply….really thought no one would reply for a post this late…but thanks and ok I understand that…I always buy my games on retail if available but in this case I agree 100% with you….I know that going physical isn’t a cheap move….and its way better to use this money to make the game better.
lol hooked once the flight instructor called me a nugget this games hella nostalgic. looking at the beta all i would like to see change is the main gun being fireable from a rear pad tap or something so i dont have to take my thumb off the movement stick and a cleaner hud in cockpit view i thought i saw a radar other than that i had no idea about weapons, speed, and damage status i had to switch views to find out. great job tho guys haven’t had a geme like this in a long time.
if you r make a space game for vita make it like galaxy under fire or freelancer thay had tons of replay value and i steel what tham on the vita. your game look cool but win you beat it it over and not moch replay value.you have add some cool stuff like be able to go on your mother ships and worlds and play on them but you need the stuff that made space cool like ships mounts for guns and shields and sensors and open worlds and systems were players can play each other.please make a space game like freelancer for vita.or freelancer on vita.we need a good space bad.
we need a good space game bad!
more stuff too make it cool would be faction/stargates for going systems too systems and cargo space for ships for supplies and trade goods.